Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama's Dead..........

I'll admit, my initial reaction was, "Ding Dong, the witch is dead!" As someone who still remembers 9/11, all the kids called home from school, families worrying if their loved ones would make it home on the commute from the city, how we tried to get some of our firefighters home (at least one didn't make it), how people feared anthrax in Halloween candy and the fear, my only thought was, "Finally." But then, my fellow Christians gave me pause.

Yes, what Osama did was truly evil. He, at the very least, needed to be stopped. Yes, the relief is understandable, especially for those of us who lived close to NYC or DC, were in them, lost family, or survived. However, there are still thousands like him, who wish for our deaths. There are even more who will now hate us, due to our intense celebrations of his death. While violence, unfortunately, is sometimes necessary, it should never be the primary solution and should always come with sorrow and repentance.

Further, to all the Christians, the Lord's Prayer/Our Father has a line stating, "Forgive our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." We're asking God to forgive us as we forgive our enemies. If we can't forgive our enemies, isn't it presumptuous to ask God for His full forgiveness? This doesn't mean pardon or excusing the action itself. It means letting go of the anger and the bitterness to see that the wrongdoer was still a human being, equal to us in standing and dignity. Yes, we may have to punish the person, but in the hopes that they will turn from their wrongdoing. If that is not possible and the lives of the people are at stake, then we may have to use violence. Again, this should be done with sorrow.

American Christians need to remember that vengeance is not our territory. It is God's and God's alone. If we want to be people who truly love Jesus Christ, we need to follow His commands. These include loving your enemies, forgiving 70 * 7, and working for peace and justice in this world. While we have to punish violence (sometimes using violence), rejoicing in suffering makes us no better than the people who hate us. Let's not be like those who danced at the deaths of our loved ones when my beloved cities were struck by evil.

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